Those who follow the San Francisco Conservatory Opera Program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) may recall seeing soprano Aurélie Veruni in the role of Rosalinde in last April’s full-length (not to mention over the top) production of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II. Veruni, who was born in Paris, France, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree studying with Patricia Craig, having received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Gnessin College of Moscow (Russia), where she studied with Galiena Sergueïvna. This week she will be giving her Graduate Recital. Her accompanist will be Alexander Katsman, who serves as a vocal coach at SFCM and as Music Director of the Livermore Valley Opera.
Veruni’s experience in Russia will be immediately evident in the program she has prepared, which will include five songs by Sergei Rachmaninoff from his Opus 4, Opus 8, Opus 14, and Opus 21 collections. She will account for her French background through both opera and art song. For the former she will sing the familiar aria “Je veux vivre” from Charles’ Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. The art songs will be “L’heure Exquise” from Reynaldo Hahn’s Chansons Grises and “Les chemins de l’amour,” Francis Poulenc’s setting of a poem by Paul Éluard.
Veruni’s Italian selections will be somewhat less conventional. She will begin the program with the aria “Sposa son disprezzata” from Antonio Vivaldi’s pasticcio Bajazet. This will be followed by the vocal version of Franz Liszt’s setting of the Petrarch sonnet “Pace no trovo.” The German portion of her program will couple familiar songs by Franz Schubert (“Gretchen am Spinnrade”) and Robert Schumann (“Widmung”) with a less familiar song by Joseph Marx, “Hat dich die Liebe berürht.” Finally, she will conclude her program with her only English offering, Blanche’s aria “I want Magic” from André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
Veruni’s recital will take place at 8 p.m. this coming Thursday, January 16, in the SFCM Recital Hall. SFCM is located at 50 Oak Street, a short walk from the Van Ness Muni station. Admission is free, and no tickets will be required.